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System constraints forcing Canadian physicians to become medical brokers in prioritizing
Date:6/19/2008

physicians to refer patients earlier than normal while the lack of available home care and postoperative support, crucial for hip and knee replacement patients, prevented other physicians from referring patients. Beyond these limitations, surgeons also said they would take on more cases if more operating room time was available. These limiting factors can then affect how surgeons and physicians prioritize their patients, especially without common guidelines."

Based on these restrictions, researchers found that not only are physicians required to identify candidates for surgery but have become medical brokers whereby they are prioritizing and negotiating which candidates are the best candidates for the procedures.

"A lack of shared understanding among physician groups in our study about whom and when to refer patients suggests that they are currently operating with less than optimal tools for appropriate brokering," said the study authors. "More explicit information is required about whom to prioritize and how to ensure that prioritized candidates make their way through the system in a timely fashion."


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Contact: Jim Gilden
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Source:Eurekalert

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